Mike and I are back this week with another Fatventure! This time I take Mike to taste the best burger in NYC. What makes this the best? Lets find out.
Whenever you talk burgers, there is so much prefacing you have to do. There are so many different types, from pub, to grilled, to griddled, to broiled, to premium burgers. Let’s start with your premium, 4 ‘$’ sign restaurant cheeseburger because it’s the least accessible and often overdone. Whether they’re adding insane ingredients that don’t belong on a cheeseburger or trying to sell you a $9 burger for $25 because of a fucking pretzel bun, it’s all too much and usually doesn’t leave you too impressed if you know what you’re doing.
Next, the broiled as it’s my least favorite way to cook a cheeseburger. Broiling is putting something below a flame. Why would I want to do that when all of the fat and juices are going to run down and away from the patty, which means you don’t get to eat it. That makes no damn sense. The heat source should be underneath the meat.
Grilling a patty is perfect, right? Wrong.
Grilled patties, while good, often are drier and have less char on the outside. That means less flavor because the fat is going to drip through the grill. If you don’t believe me, watch the flame kick up as they flip the patty. When you introduce the burger to a hot grill, the blood and juices (all flavor) start to come up to the top of the patty. As the bottom is finishing, you want to flip it, meaning that all of those juicy bits that collected at the top are now going to be lost to the gods of fire. If only there were something that didn’t have gaps where those juices could assist in the creation of more char on the outside of the patty? Hmmmmm. We’ll get to that in a second.
Second to last, you have your pub burger. This may sound insane coming from me, but it’s too damn much meat. There is no reason why a patty should be larger than 4-5 ounces of meat. Your typical pub burger is closer to 6-8 ounces of meat. It changes the way and how long you have to cook it for. The longer it cooks (after the point that the fat is turned to liquid) the drier it gets. Hence the huge crumbly burgers you tend to get at pubs. If you order them medium rare like I do, you end up getting a cold center because they’re just too damn big.
The best way to cook a patty is the griddle. The flat plate allows all of the juices to collect and assist in creating a beautiful char you can’t get any other way. At home you can mimic this with a cast iron pan. I’m sure many of you are thinking: Why not cook a pub burger on a griddle? While juicier than a grilled burger, it is still too big for the entire patty to maintain the same juices as a smaller patty. It’ll allow you to “smash” the burger down. Many of you may be thinking that smashed burger often aren’t enough meat, you’re right, get a double or less toppings. At least with a double you get twice the char!!
If you disagree with me, let me know in the comments. Would love to read them and respond!
As far as the perfect cheese for a cheeseburger, there is no substitution for American cheese. I have no idea what it’s made out of or why it melts that way. What I do know is that it’s amazing and melts perfectly on the patty. It has a great mouth feel and doesn’t leave your tastebuds over-salted like a slice of harder (maybe more ‘real’) cheese would.
Want to see the episode? Watch below: